The Billings Chamber and Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative is thrilled to announce Lukas Arkell as one of the 2024 Youth in Ag Spotlight recipients. These spotlights are a powerful way to celebrate and recognize the future stewards of agriculture who are shaping the future of the industry. The Billings Chamber along with Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative wish to acknowledge the dedication and passion for agriculture shown by these youth.
Lukas actively participates in both the Huntley Project FFA and Yellowstone County 4-H, engaging in Vet Science, sheep and goat project areas, and leadership programs. With six years of experience in raising Boer goats and five years in sheep farming, Lukas focuses on showcasing and selling 4-H Sheep and goats from his own herd.
In 2022, Lukas received the Montana Columbia Breeders Association Starter Flock award, enhancing his expertise in the Columbia Breed through interactions with various breeders. Utilizing LAI for herd improvement, Lukas selected bucks with superior qualities and is set for his fifth year of kidding goats for show and sale to young 4-H members.
Beyond breeding, Lukas actively participates in FFA Vet Science competitions, organizes learning workshops for 4-H Sheep and Goat projects, and dedicates his summer to assisting members in and out of Yellowstone County in perfecting their showmanship skills. Lukas also contributes to shearing crews after attending a shearing school.
Having been part of the Huntley Project FFA Vet Science team for two years, Lukas engages in Livestock Judging at events like Lewistown Winter Fair and NILE. He excels in the 4-H large and small animal Skillathon competition, showcasing market sheep, market goats, poultry, and wool classes at Montana Fair. Lukas is a unique participant, being one of two families in Yellowstone County to exhibit fitted wool sheep at fairs.
Lukas extends his knowledge during summers by teaching 4-H members how to show their sheep and goats. His focus on grooming and shearing extends to guiding younger members, instilling confidence in sensitive areas. Throughout winter, Lukas contributes to learning workshops in sheep and goat areas, addressing topics like diseases, vaccinations, and treatments. During fairs, he actively supports other participants and shares insights on animal care and project goals.
A natural leader, Lukas serves as a role model, actively involving himself in various 4-H programs and demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities. His commitment to cleaning up events and encouraging participation has earned him respect among peers. As club president, Lukas employs effective communication and ensures everyone’s voice is heard during meetings.
Looking ahead, Lukas aspires to continue his journey in shearing, with plans to travel internationally with shearing crews. He aims to explore schooling for sheep and goat reproduction specialization while expanding his Columbia and Boer goat herds. Lukas’s dedication, leadership, and passion for agriculture make him a valuable asset to the 4-H and FFA communities.